Arrow: Elseworlds Part 2 review S7 E9

With a legit Crisis on Infinite Earth tease, the arrival of Injustice Superman (?) and Batwoman’s debut, Elseworlds Part 2 was a big improvement on the first chapter. It would have been perfect if it weren’t for some nagging Arrowverse issues.

The traditional Arrow opening with Barry in the scenes was a very nice touch.

One of the best parts of the crossovers is the random appearances from old characters. It was fun seeing Jericho show up as Deathstroke and battle Diggle in the crimson red skies before Barry, Kara and Oliver arrived.

Curtis makes the obligatory geek remark about how this situation is more like Quantum Leap instead of Freaky Friday. I always find him super annoying, but Curtis was actually fine this episode.

I loved the tight show continuity as Felicity addressed the tension with Oliver, but was fine coming to help. That seemed a little crossover friendly as Felicity sure did seem like she was throwing up deuces last episode. Whatever, it’s not like we were going to have a crossover without her.

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My biggest gripe with the Elseworlds Part 2 was the sense that Caitlin took some of Iris’ scenes. It felt incredibly random and awkward for Caitlin to offer Felicity advice about not knowing Barry and Oliver were swapped. Caitlin’s last/only stable relationship was Ronnie. This really seemed like the kind of conversation that Felicity should have had with the other married vigilante wife.

The Big 3 head to Gotham where Oliver is convinced Batman is an urban legend and insists he’s the original vigilante. Uh-huh. Sure, Ollie.

I didn’t get the point of the gang fight and arrest scene. Batwoman (Ruby Rose) was already watching them when they first arrived. It’s not like anything noteworthy happened at the police station. And it seemed weird that Batwoman would introduce herself to them as Kate Kane for no real reason.

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Turns out Bruce Wayne left Gotham years ago. Apparently Batwoman is just going to fill in for the Dark Knight right down to using his Batcave. That’s a lazy approach as Batwoman has enough of her own identity that she doesn’t need to just be the Arrowverse’s Batman stand-in. Oh, and the WiFi password is Alfred.

This episode felt crammed with Easter Eggs that borderline felt a little too cute like the Shakespeare bust from the 1960s Batman show.

I detected some real chemistry during that scene where Kate and Kara chatted. They’re both single and it would be a real positive inclusive statement to have Supergirl dating Batwoman.

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Meanwhile the geek squad has figured out the red skies and portal is someone trying to breach in. In a scene right out of the comics, 90s Flash warns them to get the book to make things right before vanishing.

That was the last clue the Big 3 needed as they prepare to crash Arkham Asylum and find Deegan. Kara wheels Caitlin in as a new patient/inmate while Diggle and Oliver stroll through the hallways and see Penguin, Poison Ivy, Clayface and Riddler’s cells. Do the guards really have time to add nameplates?

Deegan somehow gets the jump on the guy with the speed of The Flash and runs away after unlocking the cells. Oliver still can’t catch Deegan and just helps Diggle take on the Arkham goons. Including one inmate with Psycho Pirate’s Medusa mask. This was another cool Easter Egg, but one that should have led to some major problems. Psycho Pirate is way too formidable to get taken out in 30 seconds.

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Killer Frost tangles with Nora Fries, who desperately searches for her husband’s freeze gun. This looked straight out of Batman & Robin. Along the way, we see the Bane mask from The Dark Knight Rises. I gotta figure if KF was powerful enough to stop Cicada she could withstand a blast from a freeze gun…

Thankfully this does lead to a cool moment as Oliver and Barry arrive and catch a whiff of Scarecrow’s fear gas. Suddenly they see each other as Reverse Flash and Merlyn. Prometheus also would have been an acceptable answer. This was the sequence where Director James Bamford got to show off his knack for terrific fight scenes. It was a fun moment and nice call back to each show’s respective first seasons.

While Deegan slipped past The Flash, he’s not fast enough to avoid Supergirl, who snags the big book of destiny. Supergirl never seems to really get much to do in these crossovers. She’s too powerful to avoid not being a cheat code so the writers just keep her off camera a lot.

With the Arkham situation settled, it’s time to say goodbye. For all the buzz, Batwoman made an underwhelming debut. Batwoman and Supergirl’s farewell and world’s finest reference ignored the episode long setup for a winking nod to fans.

Batwoman really could have used more screen time. Instead, that was used for more Olicity drama. Heaven forbid an Arrowverse crossover go by without establishing Oliver and Felicity’s deep and endless love for each other. Does this mean we won’t have to deal with that foolishness when Arrow returns from its midseason break? Probably not, but it was a nice thought.

Back at ARGUS, the 90s Flash makes a successful jump. He recognizes John and questions why he’s not wearing his ring. That’s an Easter Egg that sounds exciting.

Like I hoped last episode, 90s Flash tells them the Monitor is testing heroes from various worlds to prepare for an upcoming crisis. The Anti-Monitor is coming! Who?

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Ready to rumble, the two Flashes, Green Arrow and Supergirl confront The Monitor. This seems like the ideal time to call in Vibe, Killer Frost, Elongated Man, Kid Flash, XS, Mister Terrific, Wild Dog and Black Canary, but what do I know?

The Monitor has no time for their antics and snatches the book warning Deegan to think bigger. In a flash, Oliver and Barry are in a new reality as the Trigger Twins. Nice. They’re wanted criminals and the CCPD coming to bring them in are Diaz, Jericho and Merlyn.

While they manage to get away from them, they can’t escape the man in black. No, not death, but Superman, who’s acting suspiciously like the Superman from Injustice.

Elseworlds Part 2 definitely had more fun with the crossover concept with the various characters and references to other events. Hopefully the final wraps things just as strongly while setting the stage for next year’s (?) big crossover.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

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